Lesson 165
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Perfect Communication
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 15 "THE PURPOSE OF TIME" 
V. PRACTICING THE HOLY INSTANT
      
40 You could live forever in the holy instant, beginning now and reaching to eternity, but for a very simple reason. Do not obscure the simplicity of this reason, for if you do, it will be only because you prefer not to recognize it and not to let it go. The simple reason, simply stated, is this: The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication. This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is open, both to receive and give. It is the recognition that all minds are in communication. It therefore seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything.        
         
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  165
Let not my mind deny the Thought of God. 
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* IAMBIC PENTAMETER

   What makes this world seem real except your own
   denial of the truth that lies beyond?
   What but your thoughts of misery and death
   obscures the perfect happiness and the
   Eternal Life your Father wills for you?
   And what could hide what cannot be concealed
   except illusion? What could keep from you
   what you already have except your choice
   to see it not, denying it is there?
 
   The Thought of God created you. It left
   you not, nor have you ever been apart
   from It an instant. It belongs to you.
   By It you live. It is the Source of Life,
   holding you One with It, and everything
   is One with you because It left you not.
   The Thought of God protects you, cares for you,
   makes soft your resting place and smooth your way,
   lighting your mind with happiness and love.
   Eternity and Everlasting Life
   shine in your mind because the Thought of God
   has left you not, and still abides with you.
 
   Who would deny his safety and his peace,
   his joy, his healing and his peace of mind,
   his quiet rest, his calm awakening,
   if he but recognized where they abide?
   Would he not instantly prepare to go
   where they are found, abandoning all else
   as worthless in comparison with them?
   And having found them, would he not make sure
   they stay with him and he remains with them?
 
   Deny not Heaven. It is yours today
   but for the asking. Nor need you perceive
   how great the gift, how changed your mind will be,
   before it comes to you. Ask to receive,
   and it is given you. Conviction lies
   within it. Till you welcome it as yours
   uncertainty remains. Yet God is fair.
   Sureness is not expected, to receive
   what only your acceptance can bestow.
  
   Ask with desire. You need not be sure
   that you request the only thing you want.
   But when you have received you will be sure
   you have the treasure you have always sought.
   What would you then exchange it for? What would
   induce you now to let it fade away
   from your ecstatic vision? For this sight
   proves that you have exchanged your blindness for
   the seeing eyes of Christ; your mind has come
   to lay aside denial, and accept
   the Thought of God as its inheritance.
 
   Now is all doubting past, the journey's end
   made certain, and salvation given you.
   Now is Christ's power in your mind, to heal
   as you were healed. For now are you among
   the Saviours of the world. Your destiny
   lies there and nowhere else. Would God consent
   to let His Son remain forever starved
   by his denial of the nourishment
   he needs to live? Abundance dwells in him,
   and deprivation cannot cut him off
   from God's sustaining Love and from his home.|
 
   Practice today in hope. For hope indeed
   is justified. Your doubts are meaningless,
   for God is certain. And the Thought of Him
   is never absent. Sureness must abide
   within you who are host to Him. This course
   removes all doubts which you have interposed
   between Him and your certainty of Him.|
   We count on Him and not upon ourselves
   to give us certainty. And in His Name
   we practice as His Word directs us do.
  
   His sureness lies beyond our every doubt.
   His Love remains beyond our every fear.
   The Thought of Him is still beyond all dreams
   and in our minds, according to His Will.|

    ~ The Original Handscript Notes
   

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 165
Let not my mind deny the Thought of God.
 
Sarah's Commentary

All of our chatter, our dramas, our stories, and our distractions in this world are about keeping us from recognizing what we are. It is to distract us from the present moment by drowning out awareness of God's Love and the experience of Oneness. We know this is what is going on if anything but peace and joy are in our experience. What our defenses do is keep God's Love away from us. His Love is analogous to the sun, shining constantly on us, inviting us to enjoy its warmth, while we hang out in the dark, complaining there is no light in our lives. "What makes this world seem real except your own denial of the truth that lies beyond?" (W.165.1.1) The truth is always there, but we are actively pushing it out of awareness with our thoughts of misery and death. The responsibility is all ours, yet we don't like to take that much responsibility for our own condition, and so we blame others.
 
We don't want to accept that only God's plan for salvation will work. We think if something changed in our world, we would be happy. We look for our saviors outside ourselves, but we are the ones who have to save ourselves. We do this by watching our minds and giving up our judgments and grievances. We live in a state of self-attack, telling ourselves that we have been abandoned, are unworthy, helpless, lonely, sad, and unlovable. When we attack ourselves, we project these beliefs about ourselves onto others. In other words, we make them responsible for how we feel.
 
We clearly don't want to take full responsibility for our condition so we blame others and make them responsible for taking away our peace. We believe if it weren't for "them," we would be happy. If they did not say and do what upsets us, we would not have to suffer. Yet if peace is our natural state and already in us, and we don't experience it, we are the ones actively choosing to throw it away while blaming others for taking it from us. Fortunately, while we can deny the peace that is always there within us, we can't change the fact that we are still a thought of perfect love in the Mind of God and have not left our Source.
 
We are asked to notice how we defend against God's Love, but not to judge ourselves for this. The defenses we set up against love are not a bad thing. The ego is neither good nor bad but is actually nothing at all. Rather than loving or hating it, eventually we will recognize its nothingness. Expecting the ego not to distract and defend is like expecting a bear not to do what bears do, or kids not to do what kids do. Yet just as we learn patience with kids, we must be patient and gentle with ourselves as we take this journey back to the recognition of the Self. As we go through this process, there will be conflict because we are holding two thought systems in our minds. We are constantly choosing between listening to the voice of the ego or turning to the quiet truth within that reminds us that any experience we see as disturbing, or any problem we seem to have, cannot be the truth.
 
We seem to be walking a path to a place we never left, bringing our minds back to the awareness of who we really are. This requires that we learn to live in the mystery of not knowing. It is the "I know" mind with which we are familiar. This mind encompasses all our beliefs, values, and opinions about everything. To accept that we don't know means we must learn to let go of preconceived notions of everything. Ultimately, we need to give up our attachment to this world that we think of as our home. We don't need to seek for what is true, but to undo the false. To surrender all that we think we know can be disorienting, which is why Jesus goes to great lengths to help us to understand what we have done, how the ego has set all of this up, and what is to come in the process of healing.
 
What makes this world so real to us? "This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real." (W.166.2.2) It seems real precisely because of our denial of the divine Self that we are. This denial is reflected in our choice for the ego. Why was this choice made? We believe we abandoned God, stole our life at His expense, and now He will come after us to extract what we took from Him. Because of our fear, we fled into the body and the world, which is our core defense against His Love. The ego has led us to believe that we are now guilty. It says what we have done is a sin, and we should fear the wrath of God and expect punishment. Think about God as described in the Bible and what is said there about us as sinners. Can you see how this is the God made by the ego? We have projected onto Him our own ego characteristics, and now we see him as an ego, only considerably more powerful than ourselves, which explains the fear we hold in our minds about what God will do to us.
 
This is not the God Jesus teaches us about in the Course. Jesus tells us that we have done nothing wrong, and we are still innocent. We don't accept this---as long as we still invest in the body, in our individual self, and in the world. It has all been set up as a defense against the truth of who we are. This world, which feels so real to us, is actually illusory. Think about what that means. It means nothing here will last. Bodies don't last. The earth won't last. Nothing here is real. The only thing we can truly count on is the eternal.
 
The physical world is a projection of our wrong minds and thus it is not real. Jesus says that there is no world. It is a radical thought, but this is only a conceptual idea in our minds until we have the experience of our reality beyond space and time. When we have an experience of the mystical, or even glimpses of it, where we see the world as the illusory dream it is, the truth of this teaching becomes more real to us. What we see in the world actually reflects what is going on in our minds. Thus, it is the effect of our thoughts---an outside picture of our inward condition.
 
We think that the world is the cause of what we experience. We believe that we are victims of those experiences. Starting at our birth, we experienced our dependency and loudly proclaimed we did not ask to be born. We see our parents and past circumstances as the cause of our current condition, but this is not so. Our circumstances simply witness to the guilt already in the mind; however, to establish some kind of continuity, we tell ourselves stories to try to explain why we feel as we do. We look to the world as the cause of our current situation. We take random events from the past and connect them to make sense in the mind for what we feel. None of it is the truth. Nothing happens to us without our choice and our decision. We are not victims of outside circumstances. We have chosen everything that is happening in our lives.
 
Because the world is a reflection of our thoughts, it now becomes a valuable classroom for our awakening. This reflection helps us to see the state of our mind, as now we can see our self-attacking thoughts that we are projecting. When we are willing to take responsibility for our thoughts, recognizing all of our experiences are a product of those thoughts, we can make another choice. Instead of seeing ourselves as victims of external conditions, we increasingly recognize the power of our minds. Through this power, we create the conditions of our lives. For example, today I experienced conflict in a meeting I attended. I disagreed with the perspectives being shared, and I judged the people who were taking opposing positions. I recognized: my need to be right about the way I saw things, my need for control, and my investment in an outcome different from what was being decided. With time, in reflection, I was able to see that I was upset because I was seeing something that was not there. I was seeing the conflict in my own mind, as there is nothing outside the mind. In the end, everything is helpful as a classroom for undoing what does not serve me. My thoughts, values, and opinions are actually keeping me in hell.
 
Because we are in denial and don't recognize our unconscious guilt as it is projected onto the world, we need these opportunities, offered by the situations presented to us. Our thoughts of misery and death obscure the perfect happiness that God has willed for us. The reason we don't experience perfect happiness is not that God is elusive or is hiding from us, but that we are hiding behind our denial. What God has given is not obscure. Jesus is telling us that God can't be concealed except by our choice to deny the truth. It is our choice to listen to the chatter of the ego, which keeps us from peace. It is the chatter in my mind that upsets me and not the situation itself, which is actually neutral.
 
Jesus keeps reminding us, "I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked." (T.21.II.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.15) By releasing all that is false and of our own making, the thought system of the ego can be released. We are bringing awareness to it and giving it over to the Holy Spirit, Who will shine away our misperceptions. It takes some deep inquiry to look at what we hide in our minds that keeps us from the love we are.
 
Sometimes, I think I have released my fears and wonder why the fearful feelings continue. When I really look at my process, I see that I am still choosing to hold onto these feelings, while I am under the impression that I am giving them up. This is why we have to be so very honest with ourselves. Sometimes, we would rather not turn over our anger and despair while we still see the benefit to ourselves in stubbornly holding onto these feelings. We justify why we simply can't let them go when, in fact, we are choosing not to.
 
The only answer to having peace and happiness is to consistently bring our fearful thoughts to the Holy Spirit. Pursuing peace and happiness in the world is a misleading attempt to escape from the fear, the loneliness, and our feelings of isolation, by indulging our egos. It is an attempt to try to repress or block our unsettling thoughts and feelings by pursuing a variety of distractions. The ego needs experience. It hates boredom, and, while we say we want peace, we do everything to be rid of it; and we do this because the peace of God is threatening to the ego. (T.19.IV.A) (ACIM OE T.19.V.a)
 
The Thought of God has not left us nor could we ever be apart from it for an instant. It is our very life. "By it you live. It is your Source of life, holding you one with it, and everything is one with you because it left you not." (W.165.2.4-5) If we were to be unplugged from this Thought, we would no longer live, since we would no longer have a Source. It is this Thought that offers us everything. When we deny it, we deny our absolute safety, our protection, our soft resting place, our peace, our joy, our rest, our soft awakening, and our happiness. All of this, and more, is available to us in every moment. This is what Heaven is, and it is here NOW. It is ours today, even though we are not aware of it. "It is yours today, but for the asking." (W.165.4.2) We look for Heaven in this world through our special relationships and our idols, but it is not here. There is no happiness or peace to be found in this world. It is a world of fear, of attack and of injustice, but none of it is real. It is all the same---all nothing. The only happiness to be found is in our own minds, where it has always been.
 
To receive what we have denied, we just need to ask and it is given. We don't need to be utterly convinced or to have no doubt-thoughts. If conviction were required as a prerequisite to asking, God would indeed be unfair. Jesus tells us that this is not the case. "Yet God is fair," (W.165.4.7) he assures us, because we don't have to be certain to ask. We simply "Ask with desire." (W.165.5.1) He knows that we will have doubt, but "What would induce you now to let it fade away from your ecstatic vision?" (W.165.5.5) Our experience on this journey is that we do have doubt; and at times, we may even question whether this is the path for us. Along the way, we have lots of uncertainty. We waver. We leave the path at times. We question if God is really there because we don't see evidence of Him in the world and feel He is obscure and distant from us.
 
Jesus knows of our divided state of mind and of our distress at our lack of discipline and commitment. Thus, he assures us, "Sureness is not required to receive what only your acceptance can bestow." (W.165.4.8) In spite of all your doubts, simply ask and welcome the moments of respite as yours. As we bring the darkness to the light, space is made in our minds where our doubt thoughts are released and truth is welcomed in. Then ". . . when you have received, you will be sure you have the treasure that you have always sought." (W.165.5.3) And with it comes certainty that this is all we would ever want. Now we are sure. This certainty is what our Father already holds about us. Since we are host to Him, certainty has to be in us as well. "This course removes all doubts which you have interposed between Him and your certainty of Him." (W.165.7.6)
 
No matter how deprived we feel, and no matter how much we have denied the nourishment that can only come from God, we cannot remain in this state of seeming separation forever. It is our destiny to wake up. We cannot escape our destiny because God would never consent to us remaining forever starved by our own denial. His Love is already available and present in our minds and is unaffected by our lack of awareness. It is time to give up the fight, because no one escapes his destiny. Our stubborn resistance only prolongs our suffering. This is a Lesson in hopefulness, which is not a blind hope, but is fully justified.
 
It is our thoughts of misery that obscure our happiness. When we bring them to the light, they are dissipated, and we experience the miracle. We have been assured that there is no order of difficulty in miracles because our minds can be changed about any problem, no matter how big or small it appears to be. All that is required is to bring our misperceptions forward for healing. The world will now reflect back to us a new and healed perception. "Nothing and everything cannot coexist. To believe in one is to deny the other. Fear is really nothing and love is everything. Whenever light enters darkness, the darkness is abolished. What you believe is true for you. In this sense the separation has occurred, and to deny it is merely to use denial inappropriately." (T.2.VII.5.1-6) (ACIM OE T.2.V.99)
 
To deny there is a problem is not helpful. To be a Pollyanna and to cover over the darkness with efforts at positive thinking is not helpful. To look for distractions to keep us from our sense of separation is not helpful. Is it wrong? Of course not. We just need to understand that it will not help to heal the mind when we continually focus our energy on distractions. We need to see what we are denying and projecting. Whatever are the thoughts or feelings that arise, whether upsets, depression, discomfort, anger, or fantasies, they need to be brought to awareness and then immediately turned over to the Holy Spirit, Who is the Healer in our right minds.
 
We can actually learn to circumvent many of these feelings by being vigilant in watching our thoughts. In other words, we can bring awareness to a thought of distress and bring it to the truth before it becomes a story of victimhood and disaster. Therefore, it is important to set a purpose every morning that brings us to a state of miracle-mindedness throughout the day. It is why setting the intention for the day is important, including what kind of feelings we want to experience. We can then keep our purpose in front of us throughout the day. In Chapter 30, Section I [ ACIM OE II ] "Rules for Decision," Jesus reminds us that to have a happy day, we must remember what question to ask and to hold our purpose in front of us throughout the day. It is much more difficult to regain peace than it is just to hold firm to our goal. We've all experienced how hard it is to get out of a difficult frame of mind once it has set in.
 
Today, we are asked to become aware of our doubts, our fears, our judgments, and our grievances, and to own and acknowledge them, but recognize they are meaningless. This requires honesty and courage. I prefer to see the problem in you, rather than to see it in my own mind. I defend my position, my perceptions, my choices, my expectations, and my demands as being right. I defend my version of the story as being correct. The ego is very subtle. We don't always see our motivations. For example, sometimes when I do something that I consider helpful and it is not seen that way, I need to question what may be hidden under the guise of helpfulness. When we do not defend against what comes up in our day, and do not take things personally, but use everything as a classroom for healing our minds, everything that shows up is helpful.
 
When issues come up in our lives, they can be experienced as very painful. Yet if we are committed to healing, we need to allow what comes up to be what it is and allow others to be as they are. Anytime we justify our position and rationalize our perspectives, we can be sure that it is the voice of the ego. Simply to surrender, rather than to resist, is to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in shining our dark thoughts away, but He needs our cooperation.
 
Thoughts of misery and death seem real, but they are not. They are of the ego thought system that we have come to believe. They are no more real than our fears, as children, of the bogeyman under the bed. As long as we don't look there, they hold a lot of power. Yet when we turn on the light and look under the bed, we see there is nothing to fear. There is no bogeyman, as there is no ego. It is nothing when we allow ourselves to look and be willing to ask to see the truth with the desire to experience God's Love and protection, which we have hidden from ourselves. Thus, it is all about transparency, where there is nothing we want to hide. This is what awakening to the truth of who we are is all about. "Let not my mind deny the Thought of God." (W.165) It is a day of hope, and hope is justified because all of our doubt thoughts are meaningless.
   
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Fifteen

The Purpose of Time

   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

V. Practicing the Holy Instant                                 
      
35 This course is not beyond immediate learning unless you prefer to believe that what God wills takes time. And this means only that you would rather delay the recognition that His Will is so. The holy instant is this one and every one. The one you want it to be it is. The one you would not have it be is lost to you. You must decide on when it is. Delay it not. For beyond the past and future, in which you will not find it, it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance. Yet you cannot bring it into glad awareness while you do not want it, for it holds the whole release from littleness.
 
36 Your practice must therefore rest upon your willingness to let all littleness go. The instant in which magnitude will dawn upon you is but as far away as your desire for it. As long as you desire it not and cherish littleness instead, by so much is it far from you. By so much as you want it will you bring it nearer. Think not that you can find salvation in your own way and have it. Give over every plan that you have made for your salvation in exchange for God's. His will content you, and there is nothing else that can bring you peace. For peace is of God and of no one beside Him.
 
37 Be humble before Him and yet great in Him. And value no plan of the ego before the plan of God. For you leave empty your place in His plan, which you must fulfill if you would join with me, by your decision to join in any plan but His. I call you to fulfill your holy part in the plan that He has given to the world for its release from littleness. God would have His host abide in perfect freedom. Every allegiance to a plan of salvation that is apart from Him diminishes the value of His Will for you in your own minds. And yet it is your mind that is the host to Him.
 
38 Would you learn how perfect and immaculate is the holy altar on which your Father has placed Himself? This you will recognize in the holy instant in which you willingly and gladly give over every plan but His. For there lies peace, perfectly clear because you have been willing to meet its conditions. You can claim the holy instant any time and anywhere you want it. In your practice, try to give over every plan you have accepted for finding magnitude in littleness. It is not there. Use the holy instant only to recognize that you alone cannot know where it is and can only deceive yourself.
 
39 I stand within the holy instant, as clear as you would have me. And the extent to which you learn to be willing to accept me is the measure of the time in which the holy instant will be yours. I call to you to make the holy instant yours at once, for the release from littleness in the mind of the host of God depends on willingness and not on time. The reason why this course is simple is that truth is simple. Complexity is of the ego and is nothing more than the ego's attempt to obscure the obvious.
 
40 You could live forever in the holy instant, beginning now and reaching to eternity, but for a very simple reason. Do not obscure the simplicity of this reason, for if you do, it will be only because you prefer not to recognize it and not to let it go. The simple reason, simply stated, is this: The holy instant is a time in which you receive and give perfect communication. This means, however, that it is a time in which your mind is open, both to receive and give. It is the recognition that all minds are in communication. It therefore seeks to change nothing, but merely to accept everything.
 
41 How can you do this when you would prefer to have private thoughts and keep them? The only way you could do that is to deny the perfect communication that makes the holy instant what it is. You believe that it is possible to harbor thoughts you would not share and that salvation lies in keeping your thoughts to yourself alone. For in private thoughts, known only to yourself, you think you find a way to keep what you would have alone and share what you would share. And then you wonder why it is that you are not in full communication with those around you and with God Who surrounds all of you together.
 
42 Every thought you would keep hidden shuts communication off because you would have it so. It is impossible to recognize perfect communication while breaking communication holds value to you. Ask yourselves honestly, "Would I want to have perfect communication, and am I wholly willing to let everything that interferes with it go forever?" If the answer is no, then the Holy Spirit's readiness to give it to you is not enough to make it yours, for you are not ready to share it with Him. And it cannot come into a mind that has decided to oppose it. For the holy instant is given and received with equal willingness, being the acceptance of the single Will that governs all thought.
 
43  The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts which are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep. Innocence is not of your making. It is given you the instant you would have it. Yet it would not be Atonement if there were no need for Atonement. You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would hide it from yourself. For what you would hide is hidden from you.
 
44 In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep unto yourself. Let the Holy Spirit's purity shine them away and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you. Thus will He make you ready to acknowledge that you are host to God and hostage to no one and nothing.
   
    ~ The Original Handscript Notes

 
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